Cairo summit set to boost inter-COMESA Trade
Egypt-Regional, Economics, 5/21/2001
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is due to inaugurate the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Summit on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, COMESA Ministerial Council under Prime Minister Atef Ebeid held Sunday a meeting to review topics raised on the summit's agenda.
The Ministers were to probe four main issues in preparation for submitting them to the Summit. Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs Ibrahim Ali Hassan said on the conclusion of senior officials on Saturday, that the four issues would include activating free trade zone and expanding the membership in the region.
The second issue is setting up customs union and growing up the unified customs tariff.
The third issue is achieving security and stability to meet social and economic goals.
The fourth issue is cooperation among African regional organization for establishing the African economic group.
On the other hand, the draft final report of the 6th COMESA summit, to be issued Tuesday, underscores pending difficulties affecting the balance of payment and losses in resources that might face countries joining the Free Trade Area (FTA).
The draft final statement points out that member states should guarantee issuance of certificates of origin only commodities that are subject to the comesa rules of origin in addition to giving a trade preferential treatment for products manufactured in COMESA member states' export areas.
On the upcoming round of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the draft final statement calls on the COMESA grouping to adopt a unified stand over issues to be discussed during the Doha meetings next November in a bid to protect member states interests.
The draft also urges member states to implement the schedule on removing non-customs barriers that hinder movement of trade between COMESA members and the outside world.
It exhorts floating proposals to enhance investments and the private sector as soon as possible recommends acceleration of establishing a regional investment agency to be the nucleus of enhancing inter-COMESA investments.
The draft final communique said that setting up the COMESA-unified customs union on December 8, 2004 would follow the Comesa free trade area declared on October 31, 2000.
COMESA Summit due in Cairo Tuesday
COMESA preparatory meetings urge members to liberalize trade
Infrastructure of COMESA small-and-medium projects consummated
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